SRH, on his electronic track “Headspace” exemplifies everything that is to be valued and cherished in most art, as well as pop music. It strains against the plight of human failure. Sometimes this failure is a disconnect between lyrical confrontation or loathing and yearning that sweeps through lush waves of orchestration – music that captivates you, and makes you feel, when you don’t want to feel anything. It’s the bridge between the human and the machine.
The musical textures, the emotional ambivalence, and about ten different flavors of angst and loneliness in one lyric sheet are in search of a response. Even pop music can make you think about just what kinds of decisions were made, by whom, and to what ends. These fault lines, breaking points and slippages heighten our response to music because that’s the way in: it’s where the humanity of its creator shines through.
SRH’s music hits all of these sweet spots. But it is also utterly, introspective, yet with a sense of engagement with the world. It wants to communicate. Curious, angry, melancholic, and sad – SRH may just have been all of those things while writing this song.
Everything he does on this record sizzles with emotion, and a lack of pretentiousness and snobbery that’s damn refreshing. “Headspace” sounds like a kind of a concept single about heartache and optimism rolled into one.
The song sneaks up on you and whenever you think you’ve figured it out, it will skip around – SRH’s voice catches and trembles, then changes, swooping in and shifting emotional gears. When written down and analyzed, “Headspace” should be an emotional and musical mess. It shouldn’t work as a whole.
However, call it a divine blessing, but it works. It works better than it ever should have. It seems that SRH has a rare skill, to take a song spike it with his synth-drug and heavy heart, and make it flow so well that it becomes mesmerizingly engaging.
There’s something so wonderful about his style, once it grows on you. His sound provokes my imagination despite the sometimes somber lyrics. He’s a lone voice, with a message that’s more in his vocal sound than in the literalness of his lyrics. At least, that’s what I adore about SRH.